Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge designated contact for oiled Wildlife in Walton County

May 2, 2010

Photo courtesy Florida Audubon

Currently donations and supplies along with volunteers to answer phones are most needed

To report oiled or injured wildlife in an area after it has been designated as oiled, call 800-557-1401

Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge is now the point of contact for local response to oiled wildlife in the Walton County area. They have put in a request with BP’s training coordinator to conduct volunteer training for the general public in our area, but have not received a response as yet.

There is a bird wash station being set up by Tri-State, the contracted response group in Pensacola and ECWR have been in contact with them and hope to visit the site soon. They are also actively working to set up their own holding and possibly washing stations locally as well.

They are now ready and able to respond to oiled wildlife, and are on call 24/7. Oiled wildlife will be suffering from shock, hypo or hyperthermia, and stress and is typically stabilized for 24 – 48 hours before washing begins. Calling them directly at 850-650-1880 and this will save valuable time in the treatment process.

If you find a suspected oiled animal please call them immediately. They will provide rescue and supportive care until the animal is ready for transport to one of the regional wash and rehab stations. The BP Oiled Wildlife Hotline is not manned and will be checked for messages hourly, thus delaying response time.

Please remember that once the oil is on the beach only individuals with specific training will be allowed onto the beach to conduct rescues, and under no circumstances should you handle a suspected oiled animal.

In support of our holding and stabilization areas we are asking for donations of the following items:
Baby blankets
Heating pads (w/o auto shut off if possible)
Large Rubbermaid containers with lids
Heating lamps
Rubbermaid troughs (can be purchased at Tractor Supply in Crestview or on-line)
Large backyard portable pools like found at Wal-Mart

I realize that the information about volunteering has been confused and at time inaccurate, for our part we are logging everyone who calls and will forward any solid information as we get it. As our response duties and needs become clearer, we will of course contact you with those needs.

Please contact Susan at 650-1880 if you are able to come in to answer the phone.

Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge
406 Mountain Drive
Destin, FL 32541-2334
(850) 650-1880

    1. I live in Illinois but own a home in Sandestin. Wish I could volunteer but will have to send a check instead.What an awful thing to happen in such a beautiful area.I hope the damage will be minimal.

    1. So in order for Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge to respond, does this mean that the wildlife has to be visibly oiled or does it mean that wildlife could be externally lethargic, injured and unable to clean itself? What is their estimated response time to oiled or injured wildlife?

    1. Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge is currently working with Tri State Birds, the designated contractor for rescuing wildlife on beaches that have been designated as oiled. For general reporting, call 800-557-1401. If you are not sure, or any time you see a bird that is in distress in the Walton or Okaloosa county area, Call Emerald Coast at 850-650-1880. They will handle what ever action is necessary.

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